Sunday, May 07, 2006


I’ve spent most of the weekend running. Running from this store to that store. Buying things I’ll need in my new place. Running around my current abode, packing, discarding and generally making a mess.

I’ve also been running from working on book two.

I’ve talked about this before. How I’m stuck in the loop, second-guessing everything I come up with. Knowing the last thing I want to do is write a variation on book one, but worrying that every plot I think up is just that. They aren’t. I’m over thinking. Case in point, one plot I have is definitely different. But the amount of research I’ll have to do is daunting. (J.T., maybe I could hire you? And by hire, I mean ask you to do it for free.) Plus I like to have traveled to the main locations my stories are set in. In this plot, that might not be the case, and that concerns me.

So I continued to run into the night – first Best Buy, then the shoe store, and finally back home to watch part of Soylent Green (gotta love TIVO.)

This morning when I got up, I decided to go on a real run, after all, I did finally buy new running shoes the night before. Okay, okay, most would probably refer to what I do as a jog. Some might even look at me and say they could walk faster than I move, but I digress.

Run, I did. With my iPod. Music on loud – this time the soundtrack to Moulin Rouge, a nice mix of slow and fast. I though about many things on my run. Potential jacket copy for Hung Out To Die. How I was going to arrange my furniture in the new pad. Why has a billboard up next to The Grove shopping center that says “See Where The Sun Goes When It’s Cloudy Here,” and thinking that sign belongs more in Seattle than Los Angeles…then looking up and realizing it’s cloudy this morning.

As I finished my run, coming to the last few steps before I’d start my two-block cool down walk, a new plot hit me. Bam. Out of the blue. I tell you, I wasn’t even looking for it. But it’s a good one. Easy for me to see beginning and end. Lots of interesting characters. A great location where I’ve actually been.

I stopped mid-step. I’m sure I looked odd. (Hold on, this is L.A. Everything is odd here.) Still, had there been others on the street, I’m sure they would have given me the “Are you okay?” raised eyebrow look.

Hell, yes. I was okay. Better than okay. Rockin’.

So while I was spending all weekend running away from the plot of book two, I ended up running right into it.

The moral here: If you're haveing a hard time with a plot, with a scene, with your lover or whatever, take a breather and forget about it for a while. The answer will come. It always comes.


J.B. Thompson said...

Well, I don't run (believe me, it wouldn't be a pretty sight), but I do walk, and occasionally take the dog with me. He helps me think sometimes. Once on one of those walks I was thinking about a plot hole in my former WIP. It's a magic moment when that epiphany hits you - like the index finger of God reaching down to flick you on the head and say, "Hello, McFly? You paying attention?"

Congrats on your epiphany, bro. Now get busy on that book!

=) JB

Sandra Ruttan said...

You know what I do? Paint. Not pictures, just things like a fence or a wall or something. Mindless painting.

Or, um, something else recreational that supplements for jogging and helps muscle tone...

JT Ellison said...

Whahoo! Plot solved. The question is, do you still need that free reseach? I'm just curious what I would have ahd to do.
And congrats on the new home!